At Last! Discover The Secrets Of Wacky Rig Senko Fishing Quickly And Easily, Even If You're Brand New ... Today!
Approximately 15 years ago I was struggling to catch bass in my local lake because the water was so clear, but I always could count on a secret honey hole that I could catch a few bass if the bite was really tough.
Then the bottom fell out from under me when word spread about my secret spot. Soon everyone was fishing in that area.
Which meant I couldn’t keep fishing in that area and would have to go find another honey hole or present the bass with a lure they probably haven’t seen before.
As you can imagine, I was in bad shape and desperate, but I wasn’t able to spend the weeks even months trying to find another honey hole.
It was then I was introduced to a new way to catch even the most pressured of bass. After watching pros from the BASS, Elite, and MLF tournament series crush it using the Wacky Rig Senko.
At that point, everything changed!
I analyzed all the footage that I could get my hands on and my pages and pages of notes.
Then I went to as many lakes as possible and fish this brand new technique.
In culmination, I finally figured out how to:
- Correctly set up the Senko wacky style.
- Choose the best size Senko that will get the most bites.
- Select the best Senko colors for wacky rig fishing.
- Present the lure in a way that mimics a natural dying fish.
- Quickly test specific sinking speed to see if the bass wanted to eat a weightless wacky Senko or a faster falling weighted Senko.
- Discover which locations would give me the best chances of getting bit.
Putting to practice all these tips finally, make my day fun and exciting (with a lot less stress).
And that’s why I’m so passionate about fishing a Senko wacky rig and would like to share these same insights with you. Hopefully, it can make a difference in your life too!
How Do You Fish a Senko Wacky Style?
The wacky rig Senko is an ideal rig for thick cover and shallow water. It is simple to use; you throw it out, then twitch it twice and let it fall or sit there while you wait.
You need to pay attention to your line or the bass might eat the bait and swim away. You need to wait for the bass to take hold of the bait, then reel the slack in and move your rod in the direction of the bass.
Once you do, you can swing the tip of your rod and pull the line tight. This is the best way to hook the fish.
The bottom line is that you can’t go wrong using the Senko, as it is one of the easiest to use. Continue reading to learn how to fish wacky rig Senko.
Why Would a Fish Bite a Wacky Rig Senko?
The wacky rig Senko is one of the most popular ways to rig a rubber stick-style worm.
The hook is centered on the middle of the body of the worm, which means that it will sag the same amount on each side.
It looks kind of silly, but it works well when it is tough to get the bass to bite. When you use this rig, the Senko worm is the most popular one to use.
They come in different sizes, and they are stick baits. Bass can’t resist them because you basically cast it out and let it sink to the bottom.
Most of the time, you will get a bite as your worm is sinking.
The worm sinks slowly and will have a subtle “shimmy and quiver” movement. This is what makes them appear like an actual dying bait fish. And bass find this irresistible.
If the fish are not biting the day you go fishing, you need to throw a wacky Senko worm and you’ll start catching fish fast.
How To Set Up a Senko Wacky Rig
Setting up a wacky rigged Senko is easier than tying your shoe.
The bait is usually rigged weightless, although there are some circumstances when you would make it weighted.
The easiest and most basic way to wacky rig your Senko is to push the hook through the middle of the worm.
But there is risk in this. the hook will easily tear through the bait. Which means you’ll go through a lot more worms.
Using a wacky rig tool
First, slide the worm halfway in the open end of the tool.
Slide the o ring up the tool…
and onto the Senko.
Then slide a small rubber O-ring onto the Senko.
Finally, insert the hook through the O-ring transverse to the bait. It should look like a “+”.
This helps to reduce the number of worms that you will need to use.
Best Way To Cast A Wacky Rig Senko
The best Senko anglers know there are several different ways to present and retrieve using a Senko wacky rig.
Standard over the shoulder cast
If the target is more than 15-feet away and there is no overhead cover like trees or marina shades then a standard cast is ideal.
Sidearm (or roll cast)
A sidearm cast is created by rolling the tip of the rod from a horizontal position and allowing its momentum to cast your bait to the target.
This cast is recommended if you’re casting more than 15-feet away and there is overhanging cover present.
If you’re trying to target a very specific spot, or if your target is less than 15-feet, or if you want to make a quiet entry into the water, then flipping your wacky rig Senko is the method you want to use.
You know that big bass like hunker down deep in the darkest of cover (like boat docks) and love to ambush prey as they swim by.
However, no overhead cast or even a sidearm cast will get the Senko into the deepest parts of the structure.
Like skipping a rock, you need to skip your wacky rig Senko under the structure to get to the bass.
Skipping a Senko or any other soft plastic lure can be difficult to learn, but it isn’t impossible.
Luckily I wrote an entire article on how to skip your lure while avoiding spooking the bass with a bad cast.
>> Click HERE to learn more: Skipping Senkos The Easy Way
I also wrote an article on how you can practice skipping your wacky rig at home!
How to Fish A Wacky Rig Senko (Best Presentations and Retrieval Techniques
Highlighted below are several retrieval techniques, and all have their specific use.
As you’re reading think about where you like to fish the most and what techniques you could use.
Weightless wacky rig
The first is the weightless wacky rig.
For this presentation, you need to make sure that your rig has enough weight to cast the distance. If your Senko is too light, the wind may blow against it and make it harder to get out where it needs to be.
This is the easiest presentation, and the only equipment you need is an O-ring.
You need to pay attention and watch your line when the Senko is dropping because that is the time that the bass will bite.
Then, you can move your rod toward the fish, tighten the slack, and hook it.
Where this technique excels: Shallow water fishing, bed fishing during the spawn, fishing in shallow cover or brush (just use a weedless wacky hook).
When to avoid using this technique: Deep water fishing. It will take your bait too long to fall to deep water.
Skipping a Weightless Senko under docks and boat slips
Targeting these specific areas are prime spots to hold big bass.
Where this technique excels: Anywhere there is close to the water overhanging structure. Structures like docks, boat slips, and under very low hanging trees.
When to avoid using this technique: open water fishing.
Drop shot wacky rig Senko
Another technique is the drop shot wacky rig Senko. This presentation is the best as the Senko is moving down to the bottom.
You set it up by rigging a standard drop shot with a swivel and a weight at the end. Then, you will place the hook through the meatiest part of the worm, which is usually about one-fourth of the way down.
Once you line it up, you are ready to fish.
Where this technique excels: Shallow or deep fishing (you’ll just need a heavier weight for deep fishing), fishing spawning beds, fishing dock pilings or vertical structure.
When to avoid using this technique: If the bass are eating topwater, or you are wanting to fish fast.
Weedless wacky rig Senko
Next, is the weedless wacky rig Senko.
You can rig it the same way you would a weightless wacky rig, however, you”ll just use a weedless wacky hook.
It provides extra protection to prevent hang up on brush and other structures.
Where this technique excels: Large amounts of brush, vertical timber, floating vegetation.
When to avoid using this technique: Open water with nothing to hang up on.
Some may also claim that using a weedless hook could possibly create a small chance of getting a poor hook set. Reason being is the weed guard could get in the way from properly setting the hook.
Topwater wacky Senko
The ideal time to fish a wacky rig Senko for top water bass is during the hottest part of the summer, however topwater bites can and do occur anytime from late spring to early fall.
Another important consideration when using a wacky rig senko for topwater bass fishing is to double check and ensure that your hook is centered in the bait.
Otherwise the bait will not have the correct presentation.
Begin with a nice cast out to your desired location. (If you’re just getting started with this technique, practice in open water first).
Just before the bait hits the surface, engage your reel and start reeling your bait, just like if you were fishing a buzzbait.
If you forget or don’t have the chance to do that and your bait hits the water, raise your rod tip as high as you can and reel in the bait quickly.
Once the Senko is on the top of the water, start softly shaking your rod (quivering and popping motions) while continuing to reel in the Senko on the surface.
The trick is to reel quickly enough to maintain your bait on the surface, then shake your rod tip to send out the stoke vibration waves.
They’ll come up to eat your bait, so keep an eye on it!
If you use a good weedless hook you can use this method for targeting bass that are pinned deep in cover, bushes, or grass without having to worry about getting hung up.
It’s a unique presentation that most bass anglers haven’t used before.
Where this technique excels: Bass are eating topwater, fishing over shallow but submerged grass, “buzzing” it over bass beds.
When to avoid using this technique: when bass are not eating topwater and are relating to the bottom instead.
Neko Rig wacky Senko
A Neko rig is really just a wacky rigged Senko with a small weight is then inserted into one side of the bait.
There are a variety of baits and stick worms that work well with the wacky rig and even more so with the Neko rig.
The most popular lure on a Neko rig is a fat straight tail worm – hands down. But other lures may also be used.
The Neko rig worms will have a distinct movement from the time it hits the water to the time it reaches the bottom.
Many times a Neko rigged bait will glide to the target on an angle, instead of dropping straight down like a shaky head worm.
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Where this technique excels: Shallow water fishing targeting structure or vertical timber. This technique also works great for suspended bass
When to avoid using this technique: topwater
The Carolina rig is a plastic bait rig similar to the Texas rig, except instead of sliding down to the hook, the weight is set above it by tying on a swivel.
Beginner anglers will enjoy the Carolina rig.
This particular setup is intended to aid anglers in catching bass relating to the bottom.
When bait tied to a Carolina rig is submerged, it moves in a circular manner.
This movement attracts bass, who are more likely to eat the bait as a result.
The Carolina rig uses a large weight that helps the bait to reach deeper water. This has its advantages in the winter when the water is frigid, and in the summer when bass are really deep.
Where this technique excels: Fishing deep structure, night fishing, deep summer fishing, deep winter fishing
When to avoid using this technique: fishing shallow
How Are a Weighted Wacky Rig Senko and a Weightless Wacky Rig Senko Fished Differently?
When you use a weightless wacky rig Senko, the appeal is that you throw it out and let it sink naturally. You keep the line slack, but pay attention as the Senko sinks to the bottom.
Once the bass bites, you point the rod toward it and tighten the slack to hook the fish. If you use a center weighted wacky rig, it works similarly to a weightless one, but the Senko falls down faster, and it pulls the bait more.
This makes the bass pulse and flap around with more strength. You will use this type of rig in deeper water or when you are looking for deeper targets.
Best Locations and Structures to Fish a Wacky Rig Senko
photo cred: AZGFD
The best location to use a weightless wacky rig Senko is in shallow water with thick cover. You won’t get hung up in the cover, and the Senko has a subtle entry down into the water.
It is ideal for getting the bass to bite. You can also use it around bridges and other structures.
- Shallow water brush
- Vertical timber
- Dock pilings
- Skipping under docks or overhanging structure
- Fishing over floating mats
- Fishing over submerged grass
- Fished over deep structure using a Carolina rig or heavy weighted drop shot rig
Best Size Senko (or Stick Bait) for Wacky Rig Fishing
Senkos come in different sizes that are between four and seven inches long. You will want to use different sizes in different circumstances.
When you are wacky rig fishing, you will want to use a smaller Senko, such as a four- or five-inch worm. They are lighter and work well on spinning tackle.
The larger sized Senko worms are ideal for Texas rigging, especially when you are fishing in thick cover. They also stand out well in murky water.
Best Senko Colors for a Wacky Rig
Best All Around Senko Color
Naturally, your favorite Senko colors might be different from your neighbor’s favorites, but there is one color that seems to be everyone’s tackle box. And that is…..
Senko Green Pumpkin
Best Senko Colors For Clear Water
Best Senko Colors For Stained Water
Best Senko Colors For Murky Water
Best Senko Colors For Spring
Best Senko Colors For Summer
Best Senko Colors For Fall
Best Senko Colors For Winter
Best Senko Colors For Ponds
The Senko lures come in a large selection of colors, and for bass fishing, here are a few recommendations:
- Windy or cloudy days: white, chartreuse, or something with a silver or gold blade
- Low-light conditions: bright colors
- Cold water: black or black and blue
- Warm water: “living” colors, including brown, smoky gray, and green
- Water forage: shad and bait fish – Ayu, Wakasagi; crayfish baits – smoke gray or Green Pumpkin; bluegill – Green Pumpkin, purple, or chartreuse
These recommendations aside, if the color you’re using isn’t working, just switch colors.
In fact, most fishermen who use Senko lures have numerous colors on hand at any given time, since they know they’ll be using different colors for different scenarios.
Best Fishing Hooks (Type and Size) for a Senko
You can use a 1/0 Gamakatsu B10S Stinger hook for a 4” Senko. You hook it through the smooth area of the Senko that is about one-third of the way down on the worm.
This hook is a specialty hook, and it is actually made for tying flies. However, it has a unique design that makes it a great hook for a 4” weightless wacky rig Senko.
If you are using a 5” Senko wacky rigged, you can use a Gamakatsu G-Finesse Drop Shot Hook in size 1/0. This hook is lightweight, and it uses wire that has a small diameter.
If you’re fishing around brush, tree limbs, or dock cables then you must use the Gamakatsu 1/0 Weedless Wicked Wacky Hook.
It is still very strong, but it is small enough not to spook the fish.
For a 6” Senko, you can use a hook by Gamakatsu in size 1/0. This is a Wicked Wacky Hook that is a Kahle style, and it has a split plastic weed guard that helps prevent it from hanging up.
Best Fishing Line for a Wacky Rigged Senko Fishing
The best fishing line for a wacky rigged Senko should vary depending on your fishing conditions and water clarity.
If you’re likely fishing in thick cover, or if the water is stained, then a 12-17-pound test fluorocarbon line is strongly recommended.
Whereas, if you’re fishing in clear water conditions and are free of any structure (for example if you’re fishing bridge pilings or structure without any risk of getting hung up) you want to fish a lighter diameter line.
In this situation, the common consensus is to use an 8-pound fluorocarbon line.
Hey did you realize, if you really want to catch a TON of bass, these fishing line recommendations it’s only the tip of the iceberg…
Recently, I published a complete report about the secrets to choosing the best bass fishing line, where I lay it all out for you!
I caught a lot of flack for this because this a topic the pros and expensive guides DON’T want you to know about.
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Environmental Factors to Consider
There are different environmental factors to consider when you are using a wacky rig setup for your Senko. They might cause you to change your presentation or your retrieval style.
You might fish in different locations or around different structures. You can change the size of your Senko worm, and you might change your fishing line.
Take a look at the following environmental conditions and how these factors might change.
Seasonal Considerations: Spring
In the spring, you can use the simple Senko for fishing. Once the water temperature is around 55 degrees, you can use your 5” Senko worm.
The bass are spawning at this time, so they are making their way to more shallow waters. The best way to throw your line in is to long-line.
You should locate a place where the bass are, and then make a long cast with a weightless Senko worm. As long as you get the Senko in without the bass seeing you, you will have no trouble catching them.
You can also use the wacky rig Senko around pontoons and docks at this time of year.
Seasonal Considerations: Summer
The wacky rig Senko works well in the heat of the summer as well. Many fish have been caught throughout the spring, so they are almost looking for standard setups.
The wacky rig Senko is a great way to catch the bass off guard in clear water.
You way any to consider adding some weight to your wacky rig. Sometimes bass like a faster moving bait and reactively strike it.
Cast the line, and let the Senko sink to the bottom. You can give it a little shake, and if nothing bites, reel it in and cast it again.
Use simple colors for your Senko, such as black in dark water.
Seasonal Considerations: Fall
In the fall, the water temperature starts to cool down. The cooler water, not the cooler air outside, makes the bass slow down.
As it grows cooler, the bass will move to deeper water in preparation for the winter. The deeper water is warmer for them.
You will fish similar to the winter as it gets cooler. You need more patience, and you need to wait longer for them to bite the Senko.
Seasonal Considerations: Winter
In the winter, you will want to change your strategy. The bass notice the cooler temperatures, and they are more lethargic during this time.
They often spend most of their time in deeper waters. One thing many people do is use a smaller Senko in the winter.
You also want to make sure that your Senko doesn’t move around a lot. It should reflect the lethargic attitude of the fish at this time of year.
If you wait for a warmer winter day, the bass are likely to be moving to more shallow water. Remember that their priority is to get warm more than it is to eat.
If you find that this is the case, return later in the afternoon when it is warmer. You also might want to let the Senko sit longer in the winter because the bass move more slowly.
Clear Skies Versus Cloudy Skies
You will use different Senko worms depending on whether you have clear skies or cloudy skies. If you have clear skies, the bass can see well.
You need to cast the Senko out further, and you will want to use a watermelon colored Senko. It works well because it looks more natural under the water on sunny days.
When it is cloudy, you don’t have to cast it as far away, and you can use a Green Pumpkin colored Senko. You can also use a black worm, especially if the water is murky.
Windy Versus Calm
When it is windy out, bass move to more shallow water. People often dislike fishing in windy weather, but it simply requires that you make more effort.
Think about where the bass might go to seek more sheltered waters. The bass are more active when it is windy out, and the chop on the water makes it a little easier to fish.
However, the wind funnels and pushes fish toward structures. You will want to look for an island, a shoreline, or a point to find the fish.
You can follow a drift to cover more water, and the Senko will help make it easier for you.
On calm days, you will find the fish in calm, shallow waters, so you can use your wacky rig the way you normally would. You want to be slower and calmer on these days because it is easier for the bass to find out that you are there.
Clear/Lightly Stained Water Versus Muddy/Dingy Colored Water
Another environmental factor to consider is the clarity of the water. Sometimes, you will find waters that are clear or lightly stained, while other times, you will find it dark and murky.
When you use a wacky rig Senko setup, the important thing to do is to use the right color Senko that matches the water. You want the Senko to look as natural as possible.
Senkos come in many different colors, and they are useful for different situations. The best all around color is green pumpkin with black flakes or black and blue.
These colors are versatile and are very effective. The black and blue color is ideal in murky water.
The Senko comes in more than 110 different colors, but there are some that are beneficial at specific times. The green pumpkin Senko is a good choice in clear water, stained water, and any lighting because it works just about anywhere.
The black and blue flake is great in murky water. It has a contrast and will be visible in murky water, whereas other colors might not.
You can use the green pumpkin with green and purple any time, and it often works well when the bass aren’t biting. It works in both clear and murky waters.
The watermelon red green flake is a great Senko on sunny days because the sun will reflect off of the flakes. It looks natural because of the watermelon base, and it does well in shallow water that is clear.
The key is to make sure that your Senko can be seen in murky waters, and make sure that it looks natural in clear or lightly stained waters.
Senko rods are categorized as light jig and worm rods and are ideal for the job.
Anglers can use either a spinning rod or a casting rod.
Best Casting Rod For Senko
The best Senko casting rods are often shorter than standard casting rods, ranging in length from 6’6″ to 6’8″, with a medium to medium-heavy backbone and a fast to extra-quick tip.
These rods have the ideal combination of a “springy” parabolic bend that allows for precise casting accuracy with an ox-like backbone.
But that is just the tip of iceberg. There are many other factors that go into determining what a great casting rod for senko (or worm fishing) should look and feel like. Some of those factors include style, material, length, sensitivity, durability, cost, and warranty. Fortunately, you in luck because I made a complete report where I give you the best casting rod for senko fishing that will fit into any budget and more!
Best Spinning Rod For Senko
Regardless, if you don’t know what the best spinning rod for you is, call or stop into your tackle shop and talk to the owner.
You can also ask members of local bass angling groups will quickly answer your question. It’s not like you’re asking them to tell you what their favorite secret fishing spot is.
If you’re still having trouble finding the right spinning rod, read this post I wrote for you. It’s about, the Top 10 Spinning Rods For Senko Fishing – Some Of These Rods You Don’t Know About.
Article Of the Month
Other Senko Related Articles Listed Below!
Accessories You’ll Need
Rod –The popularity of fishing is growing and people are becoming much more conscious of different rods that can help them.
Fisherman want best technique specific rod for the money.
Luckily, I wrote several reports article that provides you with detailed information in order for you to make buy the rod for the money, and more importantly which rods to avoid at all costs.
Reel – Having the correct reel to match with your rod is just as important. A good reel should be light and have a buttery smooth drag. There are several great reels on the market, but I recommend the Daiwa Tatula SV/TW baitbasting reel. It’s a great reel packed with great features. So much so it could easily be priced in the mid $200 range.
Fishing Line – Having a good line is just as important as having a good rod. I recommend fishing with a good fluorocarbon line. Furthermore, it’s super sensitive because it has little to no stretch, and underwater it’s invisible to the bass! If pride or money is on the line I would use Sunline Sniper FC.
Fishing Lures – It’s pretty hard and darn near impossible trying to catch a fish without using some sort of lure or bait. More importantly these baits you should never forget at home or it could lead to a horrible day on the water
Tackle Bag – You can’t carry all your gear in your pockets, so you need a reliable tackle bag to transport it. I wrote a complete review guide, Best Tackle Bag for Fishing, check it out by clicking here. But if you don’t have the time to read the full guide then let me tell you I recommend the Lunker Bag by KastKing.
Fishing Pliers – Nothing will ruin a day quicker than getting a hook embedded in your hand, or worse your eye. That’s why I always recommend having good set-up pliers that won’t rust and won’t slip out of your hand. I recommend that KastKing Cutthroat 7” Fishing Pliers.
Landing Net – As you are reeling in that monster fish, you don’t want to injure yourself or knock the fish off the hook by trying to grab it. That’s why I recommend a dependable telescopic landing net.
Fishing Weight Scale – Whether if you’re going to keep your catch or just take a photo of it and brag to your friends it’s important to have an accurate scale. I recommend a scale that has a large LED display like this one fishing scale here.
Wide Brim Fishing Hat – Nowadays, you have to protect yourself against the sun’s harmful rays. Wearing a wide brim hat not only gives you UV protection, but it also keeps you cool. I recommend the Columbia Unisex Bora Bora Booney hat. It fits any size head and it feels really comfortable.
Fishing Sun Shirt – Don’t you stop at only getting head protection, you also need to protect your chest, back, arms, and torso. According to the researchers finding skin cancers on the shoulders and forearms rank within the top-5 locations to get skin cancer*. Avoid any unnecessary UV exposure and stay cool by wearing a UV protective PFG Fishing Shirt by Columbia.
Fishing Gloves – Fishing gloves allow your hands to stay covered from the sun’s harmful rays and stay dry by using a special material. These gloves by Fishaholic offer UPF50+
Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API